Hopes are high for sustaining growth well into 2022, says Toby Hoyte, but ‘no more closures or lockdowns’

Toby Hoyte Soundnet TouchTunes 2021 review
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With jukebox levels on track with March 2020 and a ‘fantastic’ 100 Angelina order at ACOS, a new V5 kit launched, it’s been a pretty hectic return to action for Soundnet TouchTunes. Toby Hoyte talks us through all these milestones plus the prospect of a new face at EAG and ‘new responsibilities’ for the man himself.

 

TOBY HOYTE SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR SOUNDNET TOUCHTUNES

 

Coinslot: A year that opened in lockdown, staggered through to reopening, via a supply chain crisis and ending with Omicron: how will you look back on 2021?

Toby Hoyte: I think everyone had to accept that we will be working with this situation for a long time to come.

There was a feeling at the end of 2020 that perhaps the New Year would be a fresh start – but we began the year in probably the most difficult lockdown of all!

I look back on this year with mixed feelings. It was great to see how quickly the trade bounced back once we were able to reopen. We could see that from how many jukeboxes were back on and taking revenue after reopening.

At the end of August, 89 percent of Soundnet/TouchTunes previously supplied were back on and taking income. The average income for all of the online jukeboxes was 94 percent of the levels reported in March 2020. So, it is heartening to know that we can go through all of that and be so resilient.

Following ACOS, I would say that trade for Soundnet/TouchTunes has been better than ever. We are looking forward to EAG with renewed optimism and a new staff member!

Coinslot: We’ve had five months since re-opening, what were your highlights of the year?

Toby Hoyte: I would definitely say that ACOS was a professional highlight because it was the first proper opportunity to get together with colleagues and customers.

We took some fantastic orders during the show, including one for 100 Angelina jukeboxes from Amusement Leisure.

We have also had some internal restructuring and my role has grown and I am pleased that as a business we are on a strong footing with a great team and we can build on this stability.

Coinslot: 2021 has been a major challenge to the way our businesses operate. How have you risen to this challenge and what new developments are you introducing to rebuild and strengthen your operation?

Toby Hoyte: As I mention in my previous response, we have had to go through some restructuring and this has meant I have taken on some new responsibilities and we have recruited someone to join us in the sales team – a person very well-known and liked in the industry, who will be joining us at EAG!

We have always been quite flexible when it comes to offering finance and support to our customers and we have found that the revenue share option of 18 percent of cashbox for TouchTunes jukeboxes has been really popular with customers as it is a no-risk alternative to paying a monthly music subscription charge.

On top of that, we launched the V5 kit which effectively brings older Sound Leisure digital jukeboxes right up to date on a Milestones in Music package. For an industry that is picking itself up after lockdown closures – these measures were really appreciated by operators.

Coinslot: What are you looking or hoping for in 2022 and what’s on your New Year’s wish list?

Toby Hoyte: I am hoping for further growth in 2022 along the lines of that seen in the latter quarter of this year. My wish list is simple – no more closures or lockdowns if we can avoid them!

 


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